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194                                    VERDICT  OX INDIA
compatible with a sincere intention to quit India and hand over u
the reins of government...
JINNAH And the only safe course, you might add, is...
SELF     \ Pakistan!
The essence of Pakistan—at least of its spirit—is found in the
foregoing dialogue. To give a complete exposition, of the details
of the plan, in a book of this size, would be quite impossible. It
would need a sheaf of maps and pages of statistics, and it would
carry us far afield, over the borders of India, and involve us in a
great deal of unprofitable speculation.
It is fairly certain, however, that the reader who takes the
trouble to go really deeply iixto the matter, with a mind unwarped
by prejudice, will come to the conclusion, that Pakistan offers no
insuperable difficulties, economic, ethnographic, political or
strategic, and is likely, indeed, to prove a good deal easier of 4
attainment than a large number of similar problems which the
world has successfully resolved iix the past fifty years. It is, of
course, a major surgical operation, but unfortunately there are
occasions in the lives of nations, as of individuals, when major
surgical operations are not only desirable but vitally necessary.
And this is one of those occasions. The constant friction between
the Hindu and Muslim nations has produced something which
btrongly resembles a cancer in the body politic. There is only one
remedy for a cancer, in its advanced stages, aixd that is the knife.
Gandhi's faith cures, British soothing syrup, the ingenious nos-
trums which are proffered by eager hands throughout the world—
all these are useless* They only aggravate the patient's condition
and make his ultimate cure more difficult. To the knife it will have
to come in the end, and surely one knife, used swiftly and with
precision^ is better than a million knives, hacking in, blind anarchy
in the dark ?
What is strange, in the whole Pakistan controversy, is not the^
support which it is slowly gaining among all realistic men but the
opposition which it still evokes from sincere well-wishers of India.